backtop


Print 14 comment(s) - last by Jon_Roland.. on Jan 14 at 10:33 AM

New Series 5 Chromebook and Chromebox to launch in Q2 2012

Chrome OS was a pretty nifty idea.  Unveiled back in November 2009, Chrome OS was supposed to be Google Inc.'s (GOOG) next greatest thing since sliced bread (or ... er Android, we mean).  It was biled as a potential "Windows competitor".  Instead it saw delays bump its full-fledged beta December 2010, and its commercial release to May 2011.  

I. Chrome OS: The Flop

That late start didn't help the fledgling OS make its tough case of selling users on Linux.  Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (KS:005930) $430 USD introductory price point for a Wi-Fi Chromebook and $500 USD price point for a 3G Chromebook definitely didn't help either.  And the fact that a notebook relies on internet connections for most of what it does couldn't handle authentication tokens properly, making it impossible to log in to coffee shops and networks that use webpage-driven authentication?  That was definitely didn't help.

Unsurprisingly the platform was a sales flop, though we'll never know just how bad a flop as Samsung, Google, and the third Chromebook player Acer, Inc. (TPE:2353) refused to release sales figures.  But Google and Samsung are scrapping Chromebooks.  Their response to the failure can be summed up by great lyricist David Bazan:

And I humbly acknowledge.. that I won't always get my way.
But darling death... will have to pry my fingers loose... Cause I will not let go of you.

II. Samsung and Google Man the Deck as Chromebook Ship Takes on Water

At the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the pair was back at it again, showing off a pair of Chrome OS devices.

The first is a refreshed Series 5 Chromebook, which still features the same 16 GB of NAND flash storage and 12.1-in. 300 nit screen.  The biggest bump is from Atom to a slightly sportier Core Celeron processor from Intel Corp. (INTC).  Hopefully this move doesn't backfire in terms of battery life, but only time can tell.

Chromebook Refresh
[Image Source: Engadget]

Otherwise the notebook remains practically unchanged, with only a superficial packaging makeover.  The new models will continue the slightly reduced most recent pricing of the current Series 5 -- $400 USD for a Wi-Fi only model and $450 USD for a 3G model with service through Verizon Wireless --

Sources were unclear whether the Chromebook refresh would land immediately, though slightly farther out in Q2 2012.

Also slightly farther out in Q2 2012 a "Chromebox" -- a desktop with Chrome OS aboard -- will land courtesy of Samsung.  Little is known about the box except for its target price point of $400 USD and its observed ports -- "five USB 2.0 sockets, DVI, DisplayPort and a headphone jack."

ChromeBox
[Image Source: Engadget]

Samsung -- perhaps realizing that the device is a weak competitor to HTPCs and Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) Mac Mini -- hope to peddle the PC to K-12 school buyers on the merits of its small size and low price.

III. Chrome OS: A Puzzling Mess

We had an interesting talk with sources at ARM Holdings plc. (LON:ARM).  ARM suggests that a reason for the flop of Chromebooks is Google, Acer, and Samsung's perplexing lack of an ARM Chromebook.  There's no clear reason why this is the case.  ARM officials did say that they're still hearing that ARM Chromebooks are in the works, but these sound like they could be several quarters, if not years away.

Aside from the lack of ARM, it's also puzzling why Google would not release a revamped build of the more well-known and respected Android operating system for notebooks.  While it's possible Chrome OS may someday merge into the Android tree, for now Chrome OS remains weakened partly because it just isn't a household name.

For better or worse, though, Samsung and Google appear to be sticking to the same stubborn approach with Chromebooks.  Let's just hope they fix that authentication flaw.

In related news to Samsung's Chromebook Series 5 unveil, Samsung unveiled refreshed Windows-based Series 5 and Series 9 notebooks and significantly higher price points.

Source: Engadget



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

It's not the OS.
By Articuno on 1/11/2012 4:28:21 PM , Rating: 5
It's the fact that it's a $400 laptop that can do nothing but browse the Web. It could run Android, OS X, or Windows but the fact remains that you can do more on a freaking iPod that costs half the price.




RE: It's not the OS.
By ChronoReverse on 1/11/2012 4:39:04 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. At $400, even Android tablets can do way more and with a nicer screen too.


RE: It's not the OS.
By Flunk on 1/11/2012 4:43:15 PM , Rating: 2
You're right, the issue is that Android can do everything this can do and a whole lot more for the same or lower prices. An OS that is nothing but a web browser is a very hard sell that would have to be much cheaper to compete against the competition.


RE: It's not the OS.
By TrackSmart on 1/11/2012 5:38:34 PM , Rating: 2
+3

If they sold Chromebooks for less money than netbooks (i.e. $150-$200), then I would buy one for my mom. She has no local files and only uses the internet on her computer. For $400-$500 there's no way to justify the limited functionality and netbook-like hardware.


RE: It's not the OS.
By Natch on 1/12/2012 3:09:01 PM , Rating: 2
Same lesson that the tablet manufacturers quickly learned. If you don't have an icon of a piece of fruit on your product, don't expect to sell it for the same price point as the other (fruity) guys do. Doesn't matter if it can do everything they can do, or has better specs, it won't sell at that price point.

Make it LESS capable, but the same price, and people will just ignore your product.


Why not
By JediJeb on 1/11/2012 6:11:59 PM , Rating: 2
Why doesn't someone just offer a decent standard notebook with no OS or programs for a cheap price and let users put on them what they want?

It would be like building your own PC. But if I remember correctly didn't MS somewhere in the past push to make it impossible to sell a complete system without an operating system?




RE: Why not
By TakinYourPoints on 1/11/2012 6:17:51 PM , Rating: 2
Certain vendors allow you to do this. I believe you can buy Sagers without an OS installed. Microsoft used to threaten PC vendors with either increased license fees or pulling out altogether if they offered no OS or alternative OSes, but that was a very long time ago before the DOJ came down on them.

That certainly doesn't apply now, and the option to buy a laptop without an OS does exist.


RE: Why not
By rudy on 1/12/2012 1:00:55 AM , Rating: 3
What is the point a the volume OS copies MS sells are so low the bloatware probably makes it free. Windows 7 starter is even cheaper. The point is you can get windows for free in all reality so you just take it then install whatever OS you want. Meanwhile you have a windows key for resale or use.


RE: Why not
By Motoman on 1/12/2012 8:56:15 AM , Rating: 2
They do - you can buy "whitebox" machines from a few select vendors.

The problem being that you really don't save any money...when Dell, HP, Acer, etc. buy the Windows licenses to put on their machines, they pay very, very little per license. When you buy it, you pay retail price.

Which, in the end, means you almost certainly spend more "building" your own laptop than just buying a major OEM unit and taking the bloatware off.


By GotThumbs on 1/11/2012 7:12:27 PM , Rating: 2
I commend Google for sticking with it and trying to develop a laptop specifically for 'Cloud' computing. I think the problem was price and hardware quality. As Chrome OS was developed as a quick and light path to the new world of WWW life. More and more, consumers are moving to the Web/Cloud for all their information and content. I think Google is on the right path (Chrome OS as an alternate option), but its still in the early stages. While it would be great if the Chrome OS was available as a download...I understand the limits when dealing with an ever expanding pool of drivers for the various components an OS must deal with. A 300.00 price tag would make it more palitable for newbies to adopt. No one wants to pay the same costs as a full-blown Win7 pc, but get a terminal-like system. Who-ever was in charge of the price point for these....."Your Fired!"




By Reclaimer77 on 1/11/2012 8:35:48 PM , Rating: 2
You can go to the "cloud" on ANY OS though. The problem with Chrome is that it's ALL you can do with it.


Chrome Os...
By NellyFromMA on 1/11/2012 4:22:39 PM , Rating: 2
... who really needs it? Wouldn't it make more sense to use Android? I know these things went cheap, but the economics aren't making sense to me...




I returned mine
By Zorlac on 1/11/2012 4:58:34 PM , Rating: 2
I bought one when they first came out. I promptly returned it because it was pure crap (build wise) for the money. It felt like a toy. The screen image quality was horrible and system performance was painfully slow when viewing media content (ie Adobe Flash).




By Jon_Roland on 1/14/2012 10:33:22 AM , Rating: 2
This effort failed to understand what consumers really want, which is choices, not restrictions. People want a choice between local and remote storage, and most will likely choose a mix of the two. They want apps -- millions of apps -- that they can install or even develop themselves. They also want free stuff for simple tasks. They don't want to be nickel and dimed for everything they might want to do. They might tolerate some ads, but not a lot of small charges that can add up. A well-supported easy-to-use version of Linux pre-installed with scads of apps is a good idea. That is not what was offered in this instance and the rejection was predictable.




"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki